Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The V-Modas broke

If you've been keeping up, you'll know that a while ago I had gotten some V-Moda headphones. A while ago they broke and I decided to not post about it until I'd gotten the replacements.
The problem was strange, they broke after sitting on a desk. They were working fine, sat untouched on a desk for a while, then later the problem was spontaneously there. What happened was the left bud would go on and off as the cord moved near the jack. I emailed them about it and they'd given me a response the next day. It took me a few weeks to have the headphones mailed out to them. Then they took their time in sending replacements. The customer service was overall good though, they were prompt to answer whatever questions I had and the new pair arrived the day after they confirmed that it shipped.
They also included all the accessories that come with a new pair, so I've now got a second pleather pouch, extra ear tips (which I needed anyway) and a second "modawrap," which is a hard rubber thing that you wrap the headphones around. That was courteous of them.
I apparently had an older pair of theirs before. The problem with the old pairs was that something would go wrong with the jack after a while due to design issues. Somehow, the pair I got had been sitting in the Apple store for a long while after they changed the design of the headphones to fix the problem, and that's why this happened. The new pair is mostly the same. The jack is the biggest difference, now it is angled and mostly rubber, with a piece of blue metal (matching the rest of the headphones) at the end opposite the jack. Also, the part that connects the wires of the buds to the wire coming from the jack seems to be a bit larger.
I now know what these headphones sound like brand new compared to broken in, though. Before I didn't notice much of a difference since the break in happened over time. I've essentially gone from a very broken in pair to a brand new pair, so the difference is quite noticeable. The soundstage of the unbroken-in pair sounds like the musicians performed in a room that was too small. The bass is also bloated and not as tight as it was. Something I've noticed from running sine waves through them though (I had to see if they'd changed anything sound-wise with the new models) is that they go both higher and lower now. The higher highs (17k+) don't distort anymore and they go a bit higher, while 17k didn't make much sound before you can definitely hear something and 18k makes a tiny bit of sound. Certainly after breaking them in this will improve further.
And as I mentioned, they also go lower. Although you still aren't getting great response below 30hz, it has improved, sounding a bit louder. I'm sure this will also improve with break in.
The strangest thing has happened though, for whatever reason my right ear canal seems to have somehow changed it's shape. While I didn't have issues with putting the buds in there before, it's now quite a challenge. I have tried with both the left and right bud and with different tips, but my ear canal is just strange. Basically, the earbud goes in at some strange angle and the sound loses all clarity and sounds very bloated and muddy. The current fix is a lot of careful repositioning. I can't think of why this might have happened, but I hope it stops.

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